Tag Archives: Buick Dealer

How Often Do You Rotate Your Tires?

I would say that the majority of people know that regular scheduled maintenance is a necessity when it comes to owning a car to keep it running properly. One of the most common maintenance produces is getting oil changed. A no -brainer, right?! Well, you’d think so, but there are a handful out there that just don’t get their oil changed. And then they end up with some major, and sometimes even irreversible damage to their vehicles engine.

But enough about the importance of oil changes. Another important maintenance procedure you need to have done is getting your tires rotated. Now this one I can understand being overlooked….sometimes!  For some reason, people seem to always forget about the tires, which is crazy to me because they are the ones doing the ground work…no pun intended!

Keeping your tires properly maintained not only keeps you safe…very important, but also helps you to get the most wear out them as well.  And if that’s not enough, rotating your tires also helps you get better gas mileage as well  which all adds up to saving money, and, in this economy is a very important thing.

If you find that you have trouble remembering to rotate your tires, I suggest you add it in when you get your oil changed. To get the most of your tires, you want to keep them on a regular rotation so that they wear evenly. But even more frequently, you should at least check the tire pressure. Driving with low tire pressure is unsafe and can make your tires more susceptible to flats and punctures and can even make driving your vehicle challenging.

If you need a service shop, then of course I recommend giving Freeman Grapevine a try and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.  And of course you’re always welcome to come check out our great selection of new and use vehicles too!

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Need a new car, check out used first!

 

Let’s face it; when living in Texas, it is virtually mandatory that you own a car. Here in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, that is especially true. With a limited public transportation system and long distances to cover to get to wherever you need to go, you are going to have a difficult time with travel without a reliable car.

Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to purchase, own and upkeep a brand new, fresh off the lot vehicle. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t own a reliable used vehicle. In fact, when you decide to buy a used vehicle, you are already taking a step in the right direction. “Why is that?,” you ask. Or, maybe you are thinking, “…but I don’t want to inherit someone else’s problems”. The fact of the matter is that a major advantage of buying a second-hand car is its lower price. The moment a vehicle leaves the lot as a “new” car and is driven on the streets, its value drops immediately. That’s just the way it is, although some automobiles are driven for only a few years, their prices are considerably less than the exact same car sitting on a dealer’s lot.

This is good news for the savvy used car buyer. Looking for a car that has just come off lease is an excellent way for you to get more car for less money. In fact, you are going to have more choices, with more of the options that would probably be way out of your budget if you bought the car new. Having more choices is great because it introduces more makes and models which means you won’t have to settle for an inferior vehicle or one you just can’t learn to love.

OK, so you’ve saved cash off the top just because you went the used car route. Where else are you going to save a few bucks? Good question.

In Texas, (as in every other state) you must carry insurance on your vehicle. You are responsible, at bare minimum, to carry liability insurance. On a new car, fresh off of the lot, your insurance coverage is automatically going to be on the higher end of the payment spectrum. Buying a used car will help keep some of the insurance costs down. This is a good thing, especially with gas prices continuing to climb.

The bottom line is that when looking for a new car, it doesn’t have to really be new…just new to you. Doing some serious research and conferring with your dealer about your budget and what you’d like to have in your driveway will not only save you money and time, but you’ll have a car you can be proud of. More importantly, you’ll have a car you can rely on.

If you have any questions about buying a used vehicle: What you should look for, what your should expect etc., give me a shout. I’d be happy to help!

 

Tire Tread Depth For Maximum Safety

Understanding tire tread wear and being able to read the signs of overuse, or excessive wear is extraordinarily important  in ensuring you are driving on the safest tires possible. I’ve written about it before, and no doubt you’ve read other articles on safe tire tread depth. But today I want to find out, specifically, how much tread is needed to safely bring your car to a complete stop?

Check out the video below. This will answer the question above.

A poorly maintained set of tires is nothing to mess around with. You have to always remember that they are they only things that are between you and the road. Stopping power just isn’t in your braking system, your tires must have enough tread available to actually grip the surface you are on. You can never tell when you are going to have to use emergency, or evasive maneuvers while on the road. Even a simple trip to the store can potentially be hazardous if your tires aren’t properly maintained.

Time for a new set of radials?  Freeman Grapevine has the tire you need for less than you think.

How To Evaluate Your Shock Absorbers

Okay, Dallas Fort Worth, how do you know when  you need replacement shocks? The rule of thumb is every 50,000 miles, but it could be sooner, or even later. Your shock absorbers are an often overlooked but vital aspect to your Freeman Grapevine Buick, or GMC.

Checking your shocks is actually a very simple thing to do. In fact, it is something you can do yourself  fairly easily. Replacing shocks takes a little more technical “know how” and the right tools, but can also be done at home.

One way is by visual inspection. Inspect each shock absorber for fluid leaks, which show as dark stains in the road grime that collects on its body and mounting points. Examine the body for deep dents, and the piston rod for signs of pitting or rusting

How is your car handling while driving? For example, after hitting the bump does your new car, or truck continue to bounce up and down? If the answer is “yes”, then you will almost certainly need new shocks. Paying attention now, because shock absorber degradation may happen gradually and then worsen over time until. In fact, if you wait too long you can damage other parts and components of you car.

It is important to replace worn out shocks is because they are responsible for keeping your tires in contact with the road. Worn shocks will permit the tires to completely lose contact with the roadway. This can be especially dangerous if you hit a dip or a bump during a high speed corner. Good shocks will also help to minimize body roll, also very important during cornering.

If you think that your shock may be worn and just can’t figure it out on your own, swing by and we’ll take a look at them. Freeman Grapevine can recommend the right ones.

A Refresher in Driving Etiquette Just for You!

So it may have been a few years since you’ve been in drivers ed, or let’s face it, maybe even a few decades! And quite possibly, over the years, you may just have forgotten some things and are now making some uber driving faux pas and you don’t even know it.  Sheesh, and you wonder why you get honked at!

Now let’s get refreshed. Drivers etiquette refreshed that is!

  1. Pedestrians have the right of way. So you may be a few minutes on time and the person who is crossing in the crosswalk, at the pace of a snail it seems, is taking forever. You need to back off and give them their space. No one even really likes having to be in the crosswalk, much less be antagonized in one by you!

  2. Tailgating is not going to get you there any faster. It may actually take you longer because you were following to close that you got yourself in an accident. Rule of thumb is that you need to leave one and a half car lengths between you and the car in front of you.

  3. Not letting other vehicles merge is not very nice and won’t get you on Santa’s good list either. And, it can be extremely dangerous if you’re hogging the right lane when others are trying to merge onto the freeway. Let them in.

  4. Turn up the radio, nah turn it down! Not everyone wants to hear what you’re listening to.

  5. Don’t leave your brights on. This can make it extremely hard for oncoming traffic to see which begs me to ask the question of why would you do this?! Use your brights courteously.

  6. Please use your turn signals. They were invented to give other drivers a little heads up so that they can slow down and not end up connecting with the rear of your car because you had to take a quick turn and they had zero response time.

  7. Driving too slowly is as bad as driving too fast. They both are real dangers.

  8. The parking lot is full, but you just could have had a spot if only this person didn’t double park! Just don’t do it.

  9. Sure traffic light may not seem like they are on your side today, but honking at them is not going to change the computers mind. Try to leave a few minutes early as you never know when the traffic sign gods are not on your side.

  10. After a snow storm it is very important to clear as much snow from your vehicle as possible. Why? Because you have the chance of losing all of that snow to the vehicle behind you and causing a lack of vision and possibly an accident for them.

Be a better driver by immediately following these easy drivers etiquette tips today! And if you have something you’d like to share please stop by Freeman Grapevine or post on our facebook wall!

Common Car Problems That You Don’t Need to Kick Up a Stink About!

You know you’ve done it!  An indicator light goes on in the instrument panel or you hear a new, strange noise and of course you’re thinking that something must absolutely be wrong with your car and it needs immediate attention! Well relax, take a deep breath and let’s sort through some of the common car problems that you just don’t need to kick up a stink about!  And of course you can also come chat with us at Freeman Grapevine too!

The check engine light goes on and immediately you panic that just maybe, maybe…your car is going to blow up.  Take a deep breath and calm down. More than likely the check engine light is just signaling to you that you need to take your car in for a scheduled mileage maintenance. Usually the check engine light will show up in two colors, amber for non-emergency maintenance and red for you should probably hurry up and get it checked out sooner rather than later. Double check your vehicles manual to be 100% sure though as not all vehicles are the same.

Click. Click. Click. Ohhh, a new sound just sounded. What to do? Again, no need to panic. A lot of noises you hear are things that don’t need to be fussed about and will actually just sort themselves out. Just like how that rock got stuck between tires treads and is making the clicking sound, it will soon work itself out. Or if it’s really driving you crazy you can very carefully do some detective work and try to figure out which tire it is and get it out yourself.

A locked steering wheel and your key won’t turn. They’re not broken. You just need to put a little muscle into really. Seriously, grab the steering wheel and turn it hard in one direction and turn the key. If it’s still not working try the other direction.  But don’t force the key. You don’t want to break it or the ignition as that will be a very costly fix all for nothing. Once you get the steering wheel in the sweet spot the key should turn just as it normally does.

You think you might have a leak. So you just pulled out from your where your car was currently parked only to notice that there’s liquid there that you swear wasn’t there before. First, it really could have been there before and you just like to freak yourself out. Or maybe there is some liquid, but if it’s not a lot then there’s usually nothing really to worry about. In fact, if you’ve been using your AC a lot lately it could just be built up condensation. If you notice a color to the liquid then you may have a coolant leak. This could potentially be a problem so if you suspect it is check your coolant level, but carefully as the car needs to be completely cooled before doing so.

Hopefully those few common car problems mentioned above will help calm your nerves when you’re driving. But if you suspect a problem, please don’t hesitate to contact our service department so that we can get it fixed for you, just contact Freeman Grapevine today!

Help! My New Car Won’t Start Because it’s Too Hot Outside!

It is usually a cold engine, which is exposed to extreme weather that is most often difficult to start. However, hot engines sometimes have problems too. Hot engines can be tough to start, and many people do not know how to deal with this situation when it occurs to their cars. I live in Texas, it is important to know exactly why it happens and what to do.

The most common reason why a hot engine will not start is because the problem is related to fuel. When your new car engine is too hot, fuel cannot circulate well, due to the way vapor obstructs its workings and therefore the engine just will not start, as it should. To keep your engine running at the correct temperature and to protect its alloys and metals, you need to use a properly designed coolant.

A new car’s engine temperature will rise until it has been turned off. During this time,the highest concentration of vapor is being circulated and chances are that it may obstruct the engine to a greater extent. Obviously, when and if you are driving in hot weather and have just turned off the car engine you may experience start problems. Here’s a novel idea; wait for a few minutes until trying to start it again. Then go and get a high quality engine coolant.

Now here’s the good news…Fuel injected engines do not experience this problem as much

Now THIS is a hot engine!

as other engines, because the fuel remains inside the injectors under high pressure. Therefore, the vehicle does not have the same issues when it comes to starting a hot engine. For most of us this is the case, but if you are having a hard time starting your car under extreme heat conditions, then it may be time to change over your old car to a newer car with fuel injection.

Just a point of note, many of the older models or the used automobiles from the 90’s don’t have fuel injected engines. Proper maintenance of its engine was the best solution for the engine temperature. It is always best to have a record of the old car’s past problems or issues to be able to get an expert inspect it properly.

Another reason why you may have an engine, which is hard to start while hot, is that it may be due to seasonal weather as refiners change from one fuel blend to another. Gas refiners often change a higher volatility fuel to a lower one when summer approaches. This is simply because hot weather causes fuel to evaporate more quickly. If refiners change back to a higher volatility fuel, while cars are still exposed to days of extreme temperatures, this may cause swift evaporation of the fuel which, in turn would create too much vapor within the engine.

…And for goodness’ sake people, check your radiator water, and keep it at its advisable volume, this will help absorb a lot of engine generated heat.

OK, that’s it. Strange topic, but it’s one that seems to be a daily occurrence for some folks under the hot Texas sun. If you are having an issue like this, you can always bring your car by for the experts to check it out.

The Top 5 New Car Maintenance Issues

NEWS FLASH! You have to do more than just fill up your car with gas and occasionally clean the windows!

The American Automobile Association conducted nationwide clinics at 25 different AAA clubs that included inspecting 6,082 vehicles to find out the five most common car problems–all of which are easy to fix with just a little time and not too much money.

1. Tire pressure

Drivers should check tire pressure at least once a month to ensure tires are not under- or over-inflated. Low pressure in the tires can increase wear and fuel consumption, while having too much pressure may reduce traction. Keeping tires properly aligned will also help assure longer tire life and improve fuel economy.

2. Clean Air Filter

Maintain and replace air filters as often as is recommended in your owner’s manual to ensure better air flow through the engine. This, in turn, will improve engine efficiency and result in more power and better fuel usage. (This is probably one of the easiest and most overlooked general maintenance

3. Insufficient tire tread depth

For sufficient traction, tires should have a minimum of 5mm tread depth. Use a depth gauge to check. Most tires also have built-in tread wear indicators that let you know when tire replacement is necessary. If you happen too have a Quarter or Penny on you you can check the depth by placing the coin head down in the tread like the picture below:

4. Engine oil that is low or needs to be changed

Dirty oil will increase engine wear, while low oil levels can lead to overheating. If the oil level drops too low, lubrication will be lost and severe engine damage can result. Regular oil changes will add longevity to the engine.

5. Worn-out windshield wiper blades

Rigid, cracked or torn wiper blades can greatly reduce visibility when driving in rain and snow, which could increase your chance of having a crash. Examine and replace your windshield wiper blades once a year or sooner if streaking begins.

Your vehicle should be well taken care of. Whenever there is a need of the auto repairs you should contact the best auto repair facility in the town.

Front Wheel, Rear Wheel, All Wheel Drive: Their Pros and Cons

For many new car buyers, the drivetrain of their potential new car is just a given. Meaning that they buy the car for whatever reasons they may have and usually the type of drive train is a secondary consideration. I’m talking the commuter vehicles, sedans and light trucks and SUVs. If you have a perpetual mud stain on your truck or SUV from “goin’ muddin'”, then you know what section of the article to immediately skip to.

As I was looking around for some good information to really explain the pros and cons of all the different drivetrains, I ran across and article that has a pretty good desctiption. Take a look below and tell me what you think. Thank you National Motorist Association for the great article:

Rear Wheel Drive

There are two main advantages to owning a RWD car. The first is that RWD is both simple and rugged — especially if it’s a solid axle design — and can take a lot of abuse without needing expensive repairs. Accidentally run over a curb in a solid axle RWD car, for instance, and you probably won’t break anything. But hit a curb (or even a deep pothole) in a FWD car and the odds are much higher that something expensive will be damaged. This is why cop cars and other “service” vehicles are overwhelmingly RWD.

The other advantage RWD cars offer is better balance — and because of this, better handling. While a FWD car has most of the weight of the engine and transaxle (the transmission and axle assembly are one unit in a FWD car) over the front wheels, a RWD car spreads the weight of its drivetrain more evenly front-to-rear. This is why most sports cars — and virtually all race cars — are RWD.

And cons? As anyone who has owned one will tell you, RWD cars are at their weakest in poor weather — rain and snow. Even with modern traction control, a RWD car is more prone to loss of traction on slick roads. In snow, RWD cars are best left home.

Front Wheel Drive

As with RWD, FWD offers two main advantages — just very different ones. The first is economy. It is cheaper to design and build a FWD car. There are fewer parts — and the drivetrain is easier and cheaper to install as the car rolls down the assembly line. FWD also helps cut down the car’s weight by eliminating the separate transmission and axle assemblies used in a RWD car. This, in turn helps the car get better gas mileage. This is why FWD is most commonly found in economy-type and lower-cost cars.

The other FDW plus is better traction than a RWD car can deliver — especially in rain and snow. The front wheels pull the car instead of the rear wheels pushing it. And, the weight of the engine/transaxle sits on top of the (front) drive wheels, which further helps the car get a grip. FWD cars are typically very capable in poor weather — even excellent, when fitted with snow tires.

Cons? FWD cars are nose-heavy, which isn’t optimal for handling — especially high-speed, high-load handling. A related problem is that the front wheels have to do two things at once — put the power to the ground and steer the car. This, too, is not optimal for a performance/sporty car. In a high-powered FWD car, it can sometimes be difficult or awkward to keep the car pointed straight ahead as the car accelerates. The front wheels may jerk to the left or right — a problem called “torque steer.” Modern FWD cars are less prone to this thanks to electronic traction control, but it’s still not the hot set-up for performance applications — which is why very few “serious” performance cars are FWD.

The final thing to know about FWD is that it’s relatively fragile. Half-shafts and constant velocity (CV) joints are more susceptible to injury than a rugged lump of cast iron — as in a RWD car’s solid axle. While a RWD car’s axle may outlast the car and never require service beyond the occasional lube change, it is far more likely that a FWD car will need new CV joints/boots or something else as the years roll by.

All Wheel Drive

The best thing about AWD is that it gives you some of the advantages of both RWD and FWD — while minimizing the weaker points of either of those layouts.

The number one advantage of AWD is excellent traction — both on dry pavement and in poor weather. This is why AWD appeals to both the performance-minded enthusiast as well as the person who just doesn’t want to get stuck in the snow. Some AWD systems are based on RWD layouts (examples include the Mercedes Benz E-Class) while others are built around FWD layouts (such as any new Subaru). The RWD-based versions are usually more performance-oriented but all AWD vehicles do an impressive job of balancing handling/driving dynamics with “go anywhere, anytime” bad weather capability.

But there are downsides — the two biggest ones being weight and cost. AWD cars can weigh several hundred pounds more than an otherwise identical RWD or FWD car. This hurts the car’s acceleration — at least, when compared with an otherwise identical RWD or FWD version of the same car. And the added weight means the car will use more fuel — especially if the engine’s power has been increased to compensate for the added weight.

The last downside with AWD is the cost. AWD, when offered as an option, usually adds significantly to the car’s sticker price. If it’s standard equipment, the car will usually cost more than otherwise equivalent FWD or RWD cars. And because there are more components, there are more things that will need to be serviced — and which may eventually fail and hit you up with a big bill as the car gets older.

So, you’ll pay more up front — at the pump — and down the road. But that may be worth not getting stuck or losing control in hazardous weather conditions — and still being able to tear into corners when it’s nice out.

So, what do you prefer? We all know that Dallas Fort Worth has some very unpredictable weather, which drive train do you thing is better for TEXAS driving? Leave me a comment…better yet, come out and check them out for yourselves!

New report on distracted driving should scare you!

grapevine cars, gmc fort worth, dealerships dfw, buick dealer, GMC dealer, used cars dfw, used cars fort worthHere’s the rub on distracted driving from Freeman Grapevine. Texting, Facebooking, Tweeting…you can’t do it. Oh sure, you haven’t killed yourself, or anyone else yet…yet. We’ll guess what, you may one day if the latest statistics are accurate.

The Texas Transportation Institute tested 42 people with ages ranging from 16-54 on an actual closed driving course, the first test of its kind. All other test have been simulated tests.

The drivers were tested on a closed course with barrels and were only allowed to drive as fast 30 miles per hour which may seem slow to us, but the even then the drivers showed that distracted driving is much more dangerous than previously thought.

What the researches found is that drivers had half as much time to react as well as maintain a constant speed and stay in their lanes. Normal response time is one to two seconds. Distracted drives took twice the amount of time to respond. These results are worse than previously thought. And even worse, a driver is 11 times more likely to completely miss flashing lights on the course.  If you think about those results in the real world driving that could mean the distracted driver wouldn’t react in time to avoid causing an accident or even worse, hitting a pedestrian.

Check out this video on the research done:

Bottom line, please don’t drive and text, email, read, Google or anything that can distract you from your number one priority…driving! The United States government suggests that 25% of all fatal crashes are directly related to distracted driving. Which to me means that they could have potentially been prevented if the person that caused the crash would have just put the cell phone down!  Think of it this way, if you text and drive you could potentially be responsible for taking someone’s life.